Treaty 8 Negotiation Strategy

Between 1897 and 1898 the Canadian government began to realize the urgency of negotiating a treaty north of the Treaty 6 boundary due to abundant resources and growing agitation in the North. A key aspect of the government’s strategy for treaty making—as outlined in a letter from James A. Macrae (Inspector in the Department of Indian Affairs who was named Treaty Commissioner for Treaty 8) to James Andrew Joseph McKenna who also worked to negotiate Treaty 8—was to conclude treaties quickly before southern nations could inform them of the pitfalls or imbue the Northern peoples “with an intention to demand all those things the Crees from the south always claimed [the government] promised.”


PAC, RG10, BS file 75, 236-1. Macrae to McKenna, 3 December 1898.

This event indicates the government’s approach to treaty making in the North - namely, a desire to limit their financial expenditures and legal commitments to Northern bands.
Rural or Urban
Start Date
Sub Event
Letter from Macrae to McKenna Regarding the Negotiation Strategy of the Canadian Government